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UK Music Urges London Mayoral Candidates to Prioritise Music Industry Support

UK Music’s Interim Chief Executive Tom Kiehl has urged London Mayoral candidates to make music a key part of their plan for power.

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24.04.2024: In an open letter to all London’s mayoral candidates, UK Music’s Interim Chief Executive Tom Kiehl urges the candidates to make music an integral part of their time as mayor. 

In his letter, Mr Kiehl emphasised the vital contribution of music to the UK’s economy: £6.7billion in gross value added (GVA), £4billion in exports, and employing 210,000 people 

He highlighted that London is one of the world’s best music cities and is a key part of the UK music industry’s success. Home to iconic studios such as the world-famous Abbey Road, influential venues like the Royal Albert Hall and Ministry of Sound, and unique musical events like the Notting Hill Carnival and the BBC Proms. 

In addition, London attracted 4.9 million music tourists, who contributed £2 billion to the economy. This underscores London’s position not only as a domestic but also as a truly global music destination, supporting 13,200 jobs solely through music tourism.Top of Form 

To further strengthen London’s music scene, UK music has outlined four proposals for the next mayor to consider. These are: 

1: Re-establish the London Music Board 

 Initially set up in 2016 and Chaired by the Night Czar, the London Music Board has remained dormant for a few years. UK Music urges the revival of this crucial body to protect the vitality of London’s music scene and address pressing issues such as venue closures and racial profiling at events. 

2: Regenerate empty spaces as hubs for music, culture and community 

London’s empty spaces present an untapped opportunity to create vibrant musical and cultural hubs. Repurposing these areas for music and community engagement, can help revitalise London’s high streets, combat antisocial behaviour, and improve talent retention within the music industry. 

3: Use data to ensure music is at the heart of planning and licensing policy 

UK Music proposes the commissioning of a comprehensive London music audit. An audit will improve understanding of the role of music in the city’s nighttime economy and help inform planning and licensing decisions in the capital. 

4: Enshrine music and the local community in regeneration and partnership plans. 

Music and culture should be integral components of London’s long-term growth strategies. By embedding them into regeneration and partnership plans, the city can leverage its cultural assets to attract investment and create thriving communities that celebrate London’s rich musical heritage. 

Concluding his letter to candidates, Tom Kiehl said:  

“Delivering on these asks would enable London’s music sector to keep generating the huge economic, cultural, and social benefits it already delivers, and help ensure that we can make the UK the best place in the world to create, perform and consume music. 

We wish you success in the final days of your campaign and would be grateful for the opportunity to meet with you further to discuss the importance of London as a music city when the opportunity arises.” 

The full letter to candidates can be read here

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